I don’t know much at all about Spoon or what their inspiration was for writing ‘The Underdog’, but whenever the song plays in my iTunes library, I think of The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. If books had a soundtrack, ‘The Underdog’ would definitely be on it.
The catchy song acts as a warning for a stodgy incumbant / market leader / favorite that they will eventually fall to an underdog. Similarly, The Innovator’s Dilemma points out that market leading companies begin to focus too much on the current needs of existing customers rather than on their future, unstated needs. This failure to innovate becomes the company’s downfall when disruptive technologies emerge from upstart competitors.
Here are some lyrics for the song, which could have easily come out of the book:
But you won’t hear from the messenger
Don’t wanna know ’bout something that you don’t understand
You got no fear of the underdog
That’s why you will not survive, right!
And the video: